AFI DOCS runs June 13–17, 2018, in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.
CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING – Sunday, June 17
UNITED SKATES: DIRS Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown. USA. Roller-skating has played a critical role in modern African-American culture, with rinks serving as both a haven of community and of artistic expression, and a flashpoint in the civil rights movement. UNITED SKATES chronicles the fight to save these rinks, and the souls of communities nationwide.
CENTERPIECE SCREENINGS – Friday, June 15
ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW: DIR Rory Kennedy. USA. Rory Kennedy tells the stories of the women and men behind the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s decades-long exploration of our solar system, our universe and our planet, in this enlightening film that celebrates NASA’s triumphs, mourns its tragedies and affirms the importance of its mission both in space and on Earth.
ALONE IN THE GAME: DIRS Natalie Metzger and Michael Rohrbaugh. USA. Outdated ideas and outright prejudice have made competitive sports one of the gay rights movement’s final frontiers. ALONE IN THE GAME reveals how a new generation of queer and transgender athletes are scoring victories on and off the field by standing up for their rights — including the right to compete. World Premiere.
WITKIN + WITKIN: DIR Trisha Ziff. Mexico. The artwork of septuagenarian twins Joel-Peter and Jerome Witkin transcends genres and traditional form. WITKIN & WITKIN explores the brothers’ complicated relationship with one another, and examines depths and divisions in their work. Joel-Peter’s stunning photography and Jerome’s powerful figurative paintings distinctly capture the human condition, reflecting differing emotional and intellectual approaches. U.S. Premiere.
FEATURE FILM SELECTIONS
BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY: DIR Dava Whisenant. USA. Steve Young is obsessed with industrial musicals, the often bizarre and hilarious productions commissioned by companies to celebrate their products at corporate conventions. Follow him as he investigates this odd aspect of midcentury corporate culture, while continuing his search for gems like “Diesel Dazzle” and “The Bathrooms Are Coming!”
BISBEE ’17: DIR Robert Greene. USA. Bisbee, Arizona, an old copper-mining town on the Mexican border, finally reckons with its darkest day: the deportation of 1,200 immigrant miners left to die in the middle of the desert in 1917. Filmmaker Robert Greene captures the city’s residents as they commemorate this tragic event by staging a reenactment on its 100th anniversary.
CRIME + PUNISHMENT: DIR Stephen Maing. USA. In 2015, a group of 12 whistleblower cops sued the NYPD for using illegal quotas despite a 2010 statewide ban on the practice. A blood-boiling investigation into a corrupt organization, CRIME + PUNISHMENT follows these officers as they face retaliation for attempting to resist against racist practices.
FOSTER: DIR Mark Jonathan Harris. USA. Oscar® winners Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer (INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS: STORIES OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT) roam courtrooms, foster homes, juvenile halls and the streets of Los Angeles to tell the moving human stories behind the largest county child protection agency in the United States. World Premiere.
HAL: DIR Amy Scott. USA. Surveying the works of iconoclastic filmmaker Hal Ashby (HAROLD AND MAUDE, THE LAST DETAIL, COMING HOME), director Amy Scott identifies how Ashby’s brilliant and seminal works helped define both the New Hollywood of the 1970s and the American experience for a decade.
HESBURGH: DIR Patrick Creadon. USA. He counseled presidents and popes, served on corporate boards and infuriated Richard Nixon. He was one of the only friends to whom Ann Landers turned for advice. During his 35 years as president of the University of Notre Dame, Theodore Hesburgh became one of the most influential and inspiring people of the 20th century. World Premiere.
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.: DIR Stephen Loveridge. UK. Drawn from 22 years’ worth of personal video footage, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. is an intimate look at the life of rapper, songwriter and activist M.I.A., from her childhood in war-torn Sri Lanka, to her eventual rise to international stardom as one of the most thought-provoking artists working in music today.
MINDING THE GAP: DIR Bing Liu. USA. First-time filmmaker Bing Liu turns the camera on himself, his family members and his skateboarder friends in this deeply moving depiction of three young men in a small Midwestern town grappling with issues of class, race and learning to overcome the cycles of family violence.
ON HER SHOULDERS: DIR Alexandria Bombach. USA. Filmmaker Alexandria Bombach follows Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who gained international attention after escaping captivity by the Islamic State. Forgoing sensationalism, Bombach’s award-winning film offers a fresh perspective on Nadia’s new life as a human rights activist raising awareness for her people and their plight.
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING: DIR Nathaniel Kahn. USA. An examination of the contemporary art market through the eyes of artists, dealers and collectors, THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING is the latest work from Oscar® nominee Nathaniel Kahn. Illuminating complex dynamics between artistic intention and consumer behavior, the film begs the question: What value do we place on the priceless?
SHIRKERS: DIR Sandi Tan. USA. In 1992, Sandi Tan shot a film in Singapore with her friends and her American mentor, Georges. As the film neared completion, Georges disappeared with the footage, leaving Sandi heartbroken. Twenty years later, the footage is discovered, and the strange mystery of Georges begins to unravel.
STUDIO 54: DIR Matt Tyrnauer. USA. An Icarus tale unfolds to a disco beat in STUDIO 54, an intimate peek behind the velvet ropes, where mirror balls twinkled over Liza Minelli, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol in Matt Tyrnauer’s illuminating history of the rise and fall of the legendary New York nightclub.